The H&M Conscious Foundation recently announced a “Global Challenge Award” that would give a million bucks to five annual winners who fight fast fashion by closing the loop on textile recycling. But can the initiative make nagging questions about H&M and fast fashion go away?
We shall see. H&M is haunted by accusations of greenwashing unsustainable fast fashion business and labor practices. The brand’s reach is massive—second only to Zara in global manufacturing—and therefore unsustainable by definition.
But, as I reported last year, the company has shifted gears towards more eco fashion manufacturing:
- H&M is now the #1 user of organic cotton worldwide.
- The company saved 300,000 liters of water in their denim production last year.
- Through their in-store recycling program, 2.3 million garments have been donated to charities.
- 440,000 garment workers in Bangladesh enjoy fair(ish) trade working conditions.
- They were the first “fast fashion” company to make their supplier list transparent.
According to Yahoo! the award will be judged by Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani, actress and model Amber Valletta, and Ellis Rubinstein, the President and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences.